The Things We Do Have Echoes…
It’s a rainy morning. I have three bags: a backpack for clothes, a shoebag for my sandals, and a guitar bag (with a guitar, of course). I only have 500-peso bills on my pocket, and I’m running late. I can’t ride an FX because for sure I’ll take up too much space with all my baggage, plus paying them with a large bill in the morning would send the driver into a seemingly endless monologue about people not having change for fare and all that blabber about how much of a hassle handing a large bill for fare is. I didn’t want that, not this morning. I can’t take the bus either, because the bus fare costs much, much less and despite the fact that it’s possible that it can have more room, I just couldn’t take my chances on getting a packed bus.
So I hail a cab. This cab does the right thing. Sends all the signals right, got the side of the road where you can load and unload. I take all of 10 seconds to stuff my things in the backseat, and ride shotgun. In short, getting into the cab wouldn’t have taken longer than 15 seconds. Nothing wrong there, right?
Well, apparently the traffic cops think that we obstructed traffic.
He motions for the cab to stop and park the car on the side of the road. The cop takes the poor driver’s license away and issues him a traffic violation. But not after receiving an earful from me about how they let the buses get away with murder in obstructing traffic, how the jeeps take their sweet time in waiting for passengers, and let this driver who did everything right in my point of view get a 700 peso ticket for “obstructing” the traffic from a very proper place.
For the first time in a long time, I wanted to punch someone in the face.
But I didn’t because I was late, I was forced into a grumpy mood, and the AM public service program in the radio said it all: “The way everything is going, this country is going to the dogs.”
The law is good. But what is bad is that there is either bad enforcement of the law, or no enforcement at all.
No wonder a lot of people are breaking it. The law just doesn’t command as much respect here than in other societies.
Anyways, it just wouldn’t feel right to let the poor driver scratch his head and keep looking at the 700 peso ticket whenever we’d stop at an intersection. He must have been thinking, “where would I get the money for this, with all the costs of gas, and boundary and expenses…” So I offered him the piece of money that caused all my morning problems. After all, it was my insistence to get into that cab that cost him his license. It was partly my responsibility that he got into his predicament.
The sincere gratitude and heartfelt thanks was enough to make me feel better. It was the biggest tip I’ve ever given ever, and I’m glad I did just that. Though a lot of you would disagree with me in doing so, but that was what I felt was right.
And to me, that was the most important thing.
The things we do in our lives have echoes. What one small thing we do for another person will echo in how in he or she deals with another person, and so on and so forth, kind of a “pay it forward” kind of thing and the next thing you know, the good or bad thing you do comes back to you. This is why we have to accept responsibility for our actions, no matter how small. What we esteem too lightly, we obtain too cheap. The most valuable lessons we learn in life may come with a big price tag, such as a large bill, a loss of a loved one, or a parting of ways with someone significant: but the lesson remain in our hearts and minds forever, something that builds and becomes part of our character.